A New Year usually means a list of New Year’s resolutions, and it would seem Australian households have jumped on the bandwagon with an enormous saving plan.
New research from finder.com.au reveals Australians plan to save a massive $170 billion in 2016 – or, on average, $9,468 each.
A survey of more than 1,000 respondents has found that Aussies vow to slash expenses and increase savings by $182 per week for the coming year.
When asked about their savings goals, Australians revealed their most popular targets:
- A holiday (49 percent of respondents)
- A rainy day (36 percent)
- Home improvements (20 percent)
- Tech purchases (20 percent)
Bessie Hassan, Consumer Advocate at finder.com.au, says the healthy saving competition is a welcome change.
“The findings are very encouraging and indicate that Australians are shifting their money mindset from one of spending to that of saving. While women plan to save $160 per week, men plan to up the ante to $209 weekly,” she says.
In fact, Australians are saving almost three times (264 percent) as much as they were 10 years ago, according to an analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) by finder.com.au.
Australia’s household savings ratio has risen by 6.6 percent in the past decade – it was 2.5 percent in September 2005 , increasing to 9.1 percent in September 2015, indicating that Australians are taking their savings more seriously.
Ms Hassan says debt had lost its lustre.
“Households are spending less than their disposable income which is vastly different to the early 2000s when it fell below zero; Australians are becoming savvier with their spending,” she says.
Across the country, New South Wales residents are out in the lead, intending to save $10,602 each.
Victorians are almost as ambitious with savings goals of $10,202, followed by Queenslanders at $8,839.
“Whether it’s paying off debt, or saving for a new car or holiday, have something to work towards and devise a realistic plan to keep you on track,” advises Hassan.
“Starting a savings plan is easier said than done, however willpower combined with guidance can see 2016 the year you obtain your financial goals. It comes down to budgeting and smart money management, which starts with comparing financial products online.”
Tackling overspending is another strategy to supercharging savings, others include refinancing loans, consolidating debt and getting a better deal on utilities and insurances.”
Finder.com.au’s top ways to fast-track savings
- Consider automatic transfers for online accounts for ease of mind. Have a portion of your income directly deposited into your online savings account – you’ll never miss what you can’t see and it’s simple to organise with your payroll officer.
- Check how your interest is calculated – some savings accounts compound their interest daily which means you will still earn interest even if you withdraw money before the end of the month.
- Look for ways to maintain high interest. Some savings accounts give you high bonus interest as long as you keep money in your account – don’t withdraw anything and make regular deposits.
- Others offer bonus interest for the first few months. Since it doesn’t cost anything to open up a high-interest savings account (HISA), you can port over your funds once the introductory period is over to make the most of the time when you’re earning maximum interest.
- There are opportunities for you to grow your money this year. According to the finder.com.au database the highest maximum variable interest rate for high interest saving accounts is 3.60% p.a.
The top introductory savings rates:
- RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account: 3.50%
- St.George Maxi Saver: 3.25%
- Bank of Melbourne Maxi Saver: 3.25%
The top bonus saver rates:
- ME Bank Online Savings Account: 3.60%
- ING DIRECT Savings Maximiser: 3.50%
- Bankwest Hero Saver: 3.15%
The top six month term deposits on finder.com.au:
- Bankwest Online Term Deposit: 2.85%
- Westpac Term Deposit: 2.00%
- Bank of Melbourne Term Deposit: 2.00%